Category: Teen

2018 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers

YALSA has announced the list of Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers for 2018. The full list has 30 titles with a Top Ten list:

42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero

42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero by Doreen Rappaport

Dear Martin

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Long Way Down

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Miles Morales

Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds

One of Us Is Lying

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

Patina (Track, #2)

Patina by Jason Reynolds

Sandwiches!: More Than You've Ever Wanted to Know about Making and Eating America's Favorite Food

Sandwiches: More Than You’ve Ever Wanted to Know about Making and Eating America’s Favorite Food by Alison Deering, illustrated by Bob Lentz

Scooby Apocalypse, Volume 1

Scooby Apocalypse, Vol 1 by Keith Giffen, illustrated by Howard Porter

Spill Zone (Spill Zone, #1)

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Alex Puvilland

 

2018 Great Graphic Novels for Teens

YALSA has announced their list of Great Graphic Novels for Teens for 2018. They also have a top ten:

The Backstagers, Vol. 1 (The Backstagers, Volume One)

The Backstagers by James Tynion IV, illustrated by Rian Sygh

Black Hammer, Vol. 1: Secret Origins

Black Hammer, Volume 1: Secret Origins by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Dean Ormston

Brave (Awkward, #2)

Brave by Svetlana Chmakova

I Am Alfonso Jones

I Am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina, illustrated by Stacey Robison and John Jennings

Jonesy #1

Jonesy by Sam Humphries, illustrated by Caitlin Rose Boyle

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Damian Duffy and Octavia E. Butler, illustrated by John Jennings

Lighter Than My Shadow

Lighter Than My Shadow by Katie Green

My Brother's Husband, Volume 1 (My Brother's Husband Omnibus, #1)

My Brother’s Husband by Gengoroh Tagame

Pashmina

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Spill Zone (Spill Zone, #1)

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld, illustrated by Alex Puvilland

2018 Best Fiction for Young Adults

YALSA has announced their list of Best Fiction for Young Adults for 2018. The impressive list also offers a Top Ten, which you can see below:

Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue (Guide, #1)

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Goodbye Days

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grisha Verse, #0.5, #2.5, #2.6)

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo, illustrated by Sara Kipin

Long Way Down

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Piecing Me Together

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Sparrow

Sparrow by Sarah Moon

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

What Girls Are Made Of

What Girls Are Made Of by Elana Arnold

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman (9781442472457)

This is the sequel to the award-winning first book in the Arc of a Scythe series. It continues the story of Citra and Rowan. Citra is completing her apprenticeship under Scythe Curie when they find themselves being hunted down. Rowan meanwhile is doing the hunting, taking out scythes who are hiding illegal activity. He kills as Scythe Lucifer and has become a legend of sorts. As the time for the Winter Conclave comes about though, something far more sinister is rising up and just in time for when the MidMerica scythes gather.

I often have issues with second books in series, a kind of sophomore slump. Shusterman though does not miss a step here. He brings readers right back into his sharply drawn world. It is the writing itself that does this. He has a particular tone and style evident here as he writes of beloved characters and introduces new characters to root for. They are all marvelously complexly drawn, the heroes full of darkness and the villains full of righteousness. The character of the Thunderhead itself is also wonderfully created, its voice wise and also full of questions.

The book is one that will keep readers guessing throughout. Even as they know something is coming, it is not clear what it is or what that will mean. There are layers here that reveal, foreshadowing that is deftly written, and an ending that is so fast and wild that you almost can’t turn the pages quickly enough.

Beautifully crafted and written, this is a worthy successor to the first. And that is saying something! Appropriate for ages 14-18.

Reviewed from copy provided by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

The Queen's Rising by Rebecca Ross

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross (9780062471345)

Brienna has never known who her father is, only that he is from neighboring Maevana. When her grandfather takes her to Magnalia House and has her accepted as a student of passion, Brienna discovers a new home. Among the handful of other students, Brienna discovers sisters as well as her own interest in history. As Brienna gets ready to master her passion for knowledge and leave Magnalia House, her plans go awry and she doesn’t complete the graduation ceremony and find a patron. Instead, her flashbacks of memories from a mysterious ancestor tie her closely to those who would restore a queen to the throne of Maevana and dethrone the imposter king. As war brews, Brienna becomes the linchpin to a plan that takes her into the heart of her homeland of Maevana and the dangers of political intrigue generations in the making.

Ross has deftly woven a story set in medieval times with glimpses of magic. Her story is firmly feminist, calling for queens to sit on thrones, the power of magic in women’s hands, and the ability of women to create plans that are daring and effective. The world created here is tightly drawn, two neighboring nations with differences in cultures that come together in Brienna. Ross also incorporates the fall of a queen and the resulting ramifications of her loss. It’s beautifully drawn, some of it revealed only towards the end of the novel to complete the picture.

Brienna is an incredible protagonist. She is humble and yet clearly bright and gifted, just with different gifts than the school for passion may be looking for. Her ability to plot and plan, learn to use a sword, and adjust her reactions to political turns shows how clever she is. There is a lovely romantic tension in the book as well, kept quite proper and reserved and yet smoldering at the same time.

An intelligent and well crafted teen novel filled with political intrigue and a woman who will lead the way to change. Appropriate for ages 13-17.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Edelweiss and HarperTeen.

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang (9781626723634)

Released February 13, 2018.

While Prince Sebastian’s parents are busily searching for a bride from him, he is hiding a secret from everyone. He hires a dressmaker, Frances, to make his wardrobe for him, including dresses that are stunning creations. They allow him to become Lady Crystallia, who soon becomes a Paris fashion icon herself. As Frances gains fame as the Crystallia’s dressmaker, Sebastian’s secret becomes much harder to hide and soon the two have to choose between keeping the secret and allowing Frances to follow her dreams.

This graphic novel by Wang, who did In Real Life with Cory Doctorow, has created a graphic novel that embraces people exploring their gender identity while also incorporating a beautiful romantic nature to the entire book. Throughout there is a feeling of connection between Frances and Sebastian, one that goes beyond fashion. The fashion adds a layer of self expression for both of them, of triumph and discovery as well.

Wang’s art captures Paris at the dawn of the modern age. Filled with gowns, horse-drawn carriages and grandeur. It also has a humor in it, one that allows readers to chuckle at absurd situations and one that creates truly human characters for readers to connect with deeply.

Beautiful, layered and modern, this graphic novel embraces gender identity and gorgeous dresses. Appropriate for ages 12-15.

Reviewed from copy provided by First Second.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (9781484728499)

Released February 6, 2018.

Camellia and her sisters were born Belles. They are children of the Goddess of Beauty and given talents that let them bestow beauty on other people. The people of Orleans are born with gray skin and red eyes and must be transformed by Belles. Each generation, one Belle is chosen to be the Queen’s favorite. Camellia knows that she is destined to be the favorite, just as her mother was. But it is not that simple as one of her sisters is selected over her, because Camellia has refused to be confined by the rules. When the favorite position is offered later, Camellia jumps at the chance to take her sister’s place. But behind all of the beauty and opulence there is darkness, hidden truths and poisonous hatred. Can Camellia survive in court? And if so, how will she be asked to break the rules now?

Clayton has written a stunning first book in a trilogy. She has crafted a claustrophobic world of glitter, dazzle and beauty that is conveyed with fine detail and a sense of wonder. Throughout though, she has laced the story with pain, intrigue, lies and a sense of foreboding of the darkness to come. There is a finely wrought sense of unease even as the Belles make people beautiful.

Camellia is a great heroine, complicated and naive. Seeing the court through her eyes allows readers first to see the beauty only and then steadily as Camellia comes to understand the power struggles in court, to see them along with her. The pacing of the novel is slow at first and then downright breakneck at the end. I look forward to the rest of the series showing us more of the world that Clayton has created.

A mesmerizing first novel from an incredible new talent. Appropriate for ages 13-17.

Reviewed from ARC provided by Disney-Hyperion.